The rights of access to information, public participation, and access to justice are essential to sustainable development.
The 1992 Rio Declaration provided for these rights in Principle 10 and Agenda 21 moved them into reality in many countries. Now renewed commitment is needed for the full implementation of the rights in all countries.
The Rio 2012 Summit provides an opportunity for governments to transform Principle 10 from aspirational goals into actionable rights. Governments and civil society should use the opportunity to commit together in adopting, implementing, and exercising these rights in support of sustainable development.
The 2012 Summit’s focus on the theme of improving institutional frameworks should galvanize nations to improve their national environmental governance, develop international instruments giving legal force to Principle 10, and implement these principles into international bodies’ decision-‐making processes.
This paper reflects insights from the research, on the ground experiences, and core beliefs of over 250 non-‐governmental organisations (NGOs) working in 50 countries within The Access Initiative Network together with ARTICLE 19 -‐ a human rights organisation that promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information all over the world.